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  • Writer's pictureHannah Skidmore, MBA

4 Key Aspects to the Plumbing System of a Veterinary Hospital or Animal Shelter

Updated: Mar 27, 2023

How to Design a Plumbing System for an Animal Care Facility

Designing a plumbing system for an animal care facility, like a veterinary clinic, humane society or animal shelter, is integral to the health of the animals. A comprehensive plumbing system that addresses the specific needs of many animals can mean the difference between a healthy and happy environment for animals and an odor-riddled facility with higher disease risk for the animals. Plumbing systems affect the odor and disease levels of a facility significantly. There are multiple unique aspects related to the plumbing design of an animal care facility.

What are the important parts of a plumbing system for an animal shelter?

At Design Learned, we know all the ins-and-outs of plumbing for vet hospitals/clinics, animal shelters, and other animal care facilities. A big part of our hands-on client experience is educating others on the design and engineering process. Plumbing is a critical part of disease control and odor control. Here are the most important parts of a plumbing system for an animal shelter:

  1. Drainage

  2. Flush Fixtures

  3. Hair Trap

  4. Cleaning System

Learn more about Plumbing for Animal Shelters

About the Draining Part of a Plumbing System for Animals

Drainage. Floor drains are critical in collecting water and urine and disposing of it. Trench drains, a type of floor drain, are paramount in canine areas. The ideal layout includes a dog kennel with a trench drain that runs along the backside of the kennel. Staff can use a pressure washer/hose to spray cleaning chemicals and urine into the trench drain. In addition to pressure washing, consider the benefit of an automatic rinse system to flush the drains periodically. Design Learned includes trench drains and automatic rinse systems in our plans to reduce odor and disease spread.

More on the Flush Fixture of an Animal Facility Plumbing System

You may be wondering, 'What is a flush fixture?' Flush fixtures are large toilets! Design Learned typically includes flush fixtures in each canine area. These fixtures are invaluable to facility staff as they place solid waste into the flush fixture rather than bagging and disposing of waste in the trash. Design Learned integrates flush fixtures into our designs to reduce odor and disease within the facility as the waste goes directly into the drainage system.

Why is a Hair Trap necessary to an Animal Care Facility

What is a hair trap device? The hair trap is a device on a drainage pipe to catch hair before it goes into the sewer or septic system. Design Learned typically designs facilities with two drainage paths, 1) sanitary waste 2) wet waste (like your grooming tubs, wet tables, and trench drains). Depending on the facilities, Design Learned may include individual hair traps for each piece of equipment or pipe!

Cleaning Systems are a Must with an Animal Care Facility

Cleaning System. Cleaning systems can vary widely in method and scope. Design Learned designs cleaning systems that are piped and run throughout the building. In our experience, piped systems perform better against the odor and disease unique to animal care facilities. For spaces throughout the facility that animals don't inhabit (like hallways, offices, the lobby, etc.), we recommend facility staff use a walk-behind floor cleaner.

Mitigate Odor and Disease with Plumbing

Design Learned's primary goal in designing a plumbing system for an animal care facility is to mitigate as much odor and disease as possible within the space. Animal care facilities, like animal shelters and human societies, require complex engineering designs. Our goal at Design Learned is to create a healthy environment for animals, a friendly environment for facility staff, and a positive experience for our clients.

Request a Consultation for Plumbing Design for an Animal Care Facility

Are you looking for design and planning services for your upcoming veterinary hospital or animal shelter project? Schedule a complimentary consultation with the Design Learned team today!

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